Did you know that according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 78 percent of Veterans fit the criteria for being clinically overweight or obese (defined as having a Body Mass Index, or BMI, greater than 25)? Obesity is a growing issue that if left unchecked could lead to long-lasting health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
While diet and exercise can have a positive impact in shedding those excess pounds, there are times when additional interventions are needed in order to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Bariatric or weight loss surgery can help provide effective weight loss in patients who are obese and unable to lose and sustain their reduction in weight. There are a few different invasive and minimally-invasive weight loss surgical procedures; finding which one is right for you takes research and consultation with a medical professional:
- Gastric Bypass: this surgery makes the stomach smaller and reroutes the intestines, resulting in a feeling of fullness sooner after eating and a reduction in food absorption
- Gastric Sleeve: procedure where approximately 80% of the stomach is removed
- Lap-Band Surgery: an adjustable band is placed around the upper part of the stomach creating a small pouch where food is collected during meals; once the pouch is full you receive a sensation of fullness
Related: Click here for a comparison of available weight loss surgery options.
While these surgical procedures are invasive, anatomy-altering and require patients to change their diet, there is a minimally-invasive, anatomy-sparing weight loss surgical procedure that has been shown to effectively help people lose and maintain weight loss without the need to drastically change their food choices:
- vBloc Neurometabolic Therapy: through the use of a pacemaker-like device implanted just under the skin, vBloc Therapy blocks the hunger signals between the brain and stomach, making you feel fuller longer and reducing the amount of food you want to eat
As with all surgeries, you should be aware that each of the listed weight loss procedures come with their share of potential side effects which should be considered as you move closer to deciding which route to choose:
- Gastric bypass patients have reported experiencing chronic fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and gastrointestinal issues including severe acute episodes of vomiting and diarrhea
- Gastric sleeve patients have reported experiencing heartburn, vomiting and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and related complications
- Lap-band patients have reported experiencing vomiting once a week on average
- vBloc Therapy patients most commonly report experiencing mild to moderate pain at the implant site, heartburn, and abdominal pain or cramping
The best way to determine which option is best for you is to consult with your physician and research the different procedures. Ask questions of your physician as well as talk to others who have gone through these procedures – peer to peer conversations will help you get first-hand knowledge of what the benefits and risks are for each of the weight loss procedures.
Related: Click here to learn about a cutting edge, minimally invasive procedure to help in the fight against obesity